Animal shelters housing dogs lost during fireworks

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SAN DIEGO -- Nearly four dozen lost dogs were being housed at San Diego County animal shelters Wednesday following this year's Fourth of July fireworks.

Courtesy of San Diego County Animal Services

Dogs often escape their homes after the sound of fireworks causes them to panic. Between 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday night, 70 dogs were brought into the county's three shelters. County Animal Services officials expect that number to grow over the next couple days as residents bring in more lost dogs.

Microchipped dogs that ran off during the fireworks can be quickly identified and reunited with their owners, said animal services officials.

“If someone is missing their dog, they can check our website or visit our shelters to see if we have their runaway pets,” said County Animal Services Director Daniel DeSousa. “We encourage people to look at surrounding shelters, too, as dogs can easily run from one shelter’s jurisdiction into another.”

Owners can also check the shelter’s lost and found page to see if their dog has turned up at any of the three locations. As soon as animals are kenneled, photos are posted.

Owners can also register their lost dog with Finding Rover, a free app that uses facial recognition technology. Users upload a photo of their dog and the app searches its database and those of the three county shelters to see if the photo matches those of lost or found dogs.

Anyone who finds a lost dog should try to use a treat to lure it into safety, then call animal servies at 619-767-2675 so an officer can pick it up. A lost dog that isn't claimed by an owner within three business days or does not have identification will be eligible for adoption. If it does have identification, animal services will call the owners. If a dog identified with a microchip, license or ID tag isn't retrieved within five business days, it will become available for adoption the following day.

The county's shelters are open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For $10, Animal Services offers microchipping from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday at its three shelters.